Happy New Year!
Out with the old and in with the new…well, sort of. The new year brings new entries, removal of some old entries and corrections/clarifications of existing entries. Thanks to those who throughout the year have made suggestions to add, remove and correct/clarify. Keep them coming!
Monetary Literacy has never been more important and urgent. The current financial system, if not economy, is unlike anything ever experienced in human history due to globalization, computerization, integration, corporatization and speculation. Bubbles are everywhere. Sound, rational, just and sustainable economies are nowhere. Monetary policies have distorted economies, contributed to massive wealth inequality, corrupted public policies and further plundered the planet.
The coming economic/financial “correction” will be extreme, widespread (i.e. international) and have not simply economic, but political, social, psychological, and spiritual implications. This is inevitable.
To be literate about the mess we’re in, how we got here, its roots, and proposed sane and humane alternatives is vital for those wishing to be compassionate and powerful change agents. While the coming economic/financial “correction” is inevitable, the depth and breadth of the hardship as we move toward a world that is more just, democratic and sustainable is in large part a function of what we do now with others to educate, advocate and organize. We must take control of our economy and our money system from people (of all political parties in virtually every nation) who have 100% clearly demonstrated they are incapable of ruling with the interests of the vast majority of people — and the natural world — in mind.
Being more monetarily literate is just the first step, but an essential one.
p.s. Thanks to all those who responded to our financial appeal!
1781 – BANK OF NORTH AMERICA CHARTERED BY US GOVERNMENT
This was the nation’s first private commercial bank. The Articles of Confederation was the nation’s constitution at that time. Article 9 of the Articles gave Congress the power to “emit bills of credit” — to create money. By a single vote, Congress voted to willingly transfer their authority to issue money to The Bank of North America when it chartered the bank on December 31. Thus, the Bank served as a quasi-national central bank. Why did Congress willingly give up their money power? The public argument was that the business of finance could not be ably conduced by a public body (Congress) — only by a small number of private financiers. The first head of the Bank was Robert Morris, the richest merchant in America. This same argument against public issuance of money is made today – a public body can’t be trusted to create and distribute our nation’s money supply. The result is the creation and distribution of our nation’s money supply by banking corporations.
1935 – “MONOPOLY” BOARD GAME PATENTED BY U.S. GOVERNMENT
“The Bank never ‘goes broke.’ If the Bank runs out of money, the Banker may issue as much more as needed by writing on any ordinary paper.” – Monopoly board game rule book
This is how it works in real life too, thanks to the US government having handed over to banking corporations the license to issue money when they make loans. This creates money as debt, which must be repaid with interest. The alternative is the US government creating the money it needs interest-free and debt-free as stipulated in the United States Constitution, Article 1, Section 8.
1980 – DEATH OF MARSHALL MCLUHAN, CANADIAN PHILOSOPHER OF COMMUNICATION THEORY
“Only the small secrets need to be protected. The big ones are kept secret by public incredulity.”
This certainly applies to money creation. Most people are unwilling to believe that the vast majority of money created and circulated in our society is done privately by financial interests.
1817 – SECOND NATIONAL BANK OF THE US OPENS
This was the third quasi national bank of the former British colonies — following the Bank of North America (1781-1785, charterd by the Continental Congress) and Bank of the United States (1791-1811, chartered by the US Congress). While called a “national” bank, it was not public but actually a commercial/corporate bank with the power to issue money directly (just like its two predecessors). It issued initially 20 times more money than it had in reserve its reserves as loans. This led to financial speculation and large corporate profits. A year later, it stopped issuing loans, resulting in a severe contraction of the money supply — which led to massive bankruptcies and the Panic of 1819. President Andrew Jackson believed the bank was a threat to the nation. He vetoed a bill in 1832 renewing the bank’s charter (license).
1879 – DATE TO REDEEM GREENBACKS FOR GOLD
Forces in opposition to public money passed the Resumption Act in 1875. It established January 1, 1879 as the date anyone could redeem federal Greenbacks for gold. Greenbacks were debt free money created by the Lincoln administration in his effort to avoid borrowing money from banks and having to pay interest. Why not simply create the money as stipulated in the Constitution (Art 1, Sec 8 giving the government the authority to coin money)? Bankers hoped most Greenbacks would be turned in – so that they could once more exclusively control the issuance and circulation of paper money – at enormous profit. Doomsayers predicted as Greenbacks were redeemed for gold, the nation would go bankrupt. Neither occurred. Only $135,000 in Greenbacks was exchanged for gold – nationwide. Meanwhile, $400,000 gold was exchanged for Greenbacks. The New York Daily Tribune called the day, “the grandest page in the history of the United States.”
1911 – US POSTAL SAVINGS SYSTEM OPENS
The Postal Savings System was established to provide basic banking services to the common working person. Often located in places that had no commercial banks, postal banks offered basic savings accounts to depositors, but no loans. When banks failed after the Great Depression, many people shifted their remaining funds. With post officers serving as bank branches, the Postal Savings System held upwards of 20% of the nation’s savings in the mid 1940’s with over 4 million depositors. Commercial/corporate banks lobbied against their expansion and for their elimination — which occurred in 1967.
1999 – EURO INTRODUCED
The euro replaced the national currencies of the majority of European Union nations. It was first introduced as an accounting currency (e.g. travelers cheques, electronic transfers). Euro coins and paper notes began circulating three years later. The European Central Bank controls the flow of euros, similar to the flow of dollars controlled by the Federal Reserve Bank in the U.S. In both cases, however, the “central” banks are largely private entities. The euro came under harsh criticism in 2012 as many people in many nations began to understand that the loss of national currencies equated to a loss of national sovereignty. The public influence over a nation’s money supply is still greater by having a national currency (even if issued by a private national central bank) vs a continent-wide currency controlled by a private continent-wide central bank.
1909 – BIRTH OF BARRY GOLDWATER, FORMER REPUBLICAN SENATOR FROM ARIZONA
“The Trilateralist Commission is international…(and)…is intended to be the vehicle for multinational consolidation of commercial and banking interests by seizing control of the political government of the U.S. The Trilateralist Commission represents a skillful, coordinated effort to seize control and consolidate the four centers of power-political, monetary, intellectual and ecclesiastical.”
1928 – UNITED STATES SHIPPING BOARD EMERGENCY FLEET CORPORATION v. WESTERN UNION TELEGRAPH CO. [275 U.S. 415]
The U.S. Supreme Court stated the following in this decision regarding federal reserve banks: “Instrumentalities like the national banks or the federal reserve banks, in which there are private interests, are not departments of the government. They are private corporations in which the government has an interest.”
1977 – DEATH OF CARROLL QUIGLEY, PROFESSOR AND HISTORIAN
“The influence of financial capitalism and of the international bankers who created it was exercised both on business and on governments, but could have done neither if it had not been able to persuade both these to accept two ‘axioms’ of its own ideology…by basing the value of money on gold and by allowing bankers to control the supply of money. To do this it was necessary to conceal, or even mislead, both governments and people about the nature of money and its methods of operation.” (From his book, Tragedy and Hope)
1643 – BIRTH OF SIR. ISAAC NEWTON, ENGLISH PHYSICIST AND MATHEMATICAN – FORMULATED UNIVERSAL LAW OF GRAVITATION
Governments have transferred their authority to create money to private financial institutions (including central banks) that have used this power to create money out of thin air as debt when they issue loans. Debt is like financial gravity in weighing down governments (which must repay the principle plus interest), citizens (who must pay more in taxes to cover interest payments) and the economy in general (via transfers of money from investing in producing real goods and services to the financial sector that produces nothing). The larger or heavier the debt, the less ability ultimately of governments, citizens and the economy to move and act freely.
1066 – DEATH OF KING EDWARD THE CONFESSOR
Calling usury (interest) the root of evil, the English King declared all those who charged usury outlaws and banished them from the country.
2015 – INTERVIEW OF RICHARD FISHER, FORMER PRESIDENT & CEO OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF DALLAS
“The Federal Reserve is a giant weapon that has no ammunition left…
“You have to be careful here and frank about what drove the markets…. It was, the Fed, the Fed, the Fed, the European Central Bank, the Japanese Central bank … all quantitatively driven by central bank activity. That’s not the way markets should be working…. They were juiced up by central banks, including the Federal Reserve…. So, I think you have to acknowledge reality.”
2014 – JANET YELLEN CONFIRMED AS FIRST WOMAN TO LEAD THE FEDERAL RESERVE
The U.S. Senate confirmed Yellen to lead the Federal Reserve, the private central bank of the U.S. The vote was 56-26. She replaced Ben Bernanke.
“Central bank independence in conducting monetary policy is considered a best practice for central banks around the world,” she said. “Academic studies, I think, establish beyond the shadow of a doubt that independent central banks perform better.”
Yellen presents a picture that the U.S. central bank, the Federal Reserve, is independent, which it is not.
2016 – PUBLISHED ARTICLE, “IS THE WHOLE THEORY OF SECULAR STAGNATION A HOAX?”
“Money and debt contracts are social conventions. They can be torn up, or reinvented. When we go into the next global downturn – perhaps in 2017 – we may have to resort to an entirely different form of QE. The next step is to print money to fund state spending directly, and probably behind capital constraints in a less “globalized” world.”
[Note: Actually, an entirely different option is available not when the next global economic downturn occurs — perhaps in 2018. Instead of borrowing money created by central banks in the form of “Quantitative Easing” (QE), nation-states can create their own debt-free money. In the US, that’s authorized by Article I, Sec 8 of the U.S. Constitution.]
Why this calendar? Many people have questions about the root causes of our economic problems. Some questions involve money, banks and debt. How is money created? Why do banks control its quantity? How has the money system been used to liberate (not often) and oppress (most often) us? And how can the money system be “democratized” to rebuild our economy and society, create jobs and reduce debt? Our goal is to inform, intrigue and inspire through bite size weekly postings listing important events and quotes from prominent individuals (both past and present) on money, banking and how the money system can help people and the planet. We hope the sharing of bits of buried history will illuminate monetary and banking issues and empower you with others to create real economic and political justice. This calendar is the original project of the Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee. Adele Looney, Phyllis Titus, Donna Schall, Leah Davis, Alice Francini, Deb Jose and Greg Coleridge helped in its development. It is currently updated by Greg Coleridge. Please forward this to others and encourage them to subscribe. To subscribe/unsubscribe or to comment on any entry, email email@example.com
To see the calendar year-to-date, go to https://monetarycalendar.wordpress.com/
A second historical calendar, the REAL Democracy History Calendar, in many ways complements this calendar. For information, go to https://realdemocracyhistorycalendar.wordpress.com/about/